To deal with burnout, I built something that had been on my mind for years

TLDR; I had a burnout, and to get my sanity back I built remind.email, a tool to replace the "send e-mail to myself to read this article later" process. (demo video at the bottom)

About 6 weeks ago, I had a breakdown.
This had been building up for some time, but it got to a point where I couldn't do my job anymore, and had to completely stop working. This felt like such a failure, and I felt really terrible.

I spent the next few weeks frantically trying to relax. My psychologist kept telling me to "do the things that give me energy". I had no clue what that was, really, all I had been doing for the past years was spending time with my family, working, sleeping. Now that I had a whole day to relax and find some peace, I had no idea what to do. I started hiking, mountain bike riding, skateboarding, anything that I could do while listening to podcasts or Audiobooks that could get my mind off of the failure I was for letting my family and my colleagues down. I felt like I couldn't go near my pc (except for some Red Dead Redemption 2) because it was working at my pc that caused my burnout.

And then, after 4 weeks, at a session with my psychologist, finally something clicked : what gives me energy is making, it's building.

So, I decided to work on something that was on my mind almost every day, every night, at any idle moment :

When I come across an article that I need to read, or just a thought that I need to remember, I send myself an email. These e-mails sit in my inbox, mostly unread, and then I either forget, or don't remember what the subject was and spend a lot of time searching for that e-mail.

Every Time I think there has to be something better!

I never built a solution for this, thinking nobody would want to use it, it was too much effort, wouldn't ever make any money, and a bunch of other excuses.

But now, that didn't matter, I just need to "do something that gives me energy".
So I started building this thing, and I started feeling better. This last week, I did have my energy back, I got my self confidence back, I got clarity on my future.

AND I have a better way of reminding myself of stuff by e-mail!

Even if nobody cares, if nobody but me ever uses it, it already succeeded for me, because I no longer feel like a failure, and feel I can get my future on track again.

But just in case, just in case anyone does care, or thinks it's useful, remind.email is live, you can signup and use it. It's really an MVP at the moment, but I've been using it for the last week or so, and I do love it!

Here are a few animated gifs showing how I use it. Would really appreciate feedback.

animated gif, create list
direct link

animated gif, create list
direct link

  1. 3

    What an inspiring story! Thank you for sharing! 🙌

    1. 1

      Thank you, your feedback and support mean a lot to me.

  2. 2

    Awesome experience! Thank you for sharing your story with the community.

    We got your back!

    1. 1

      Thank you, really appreciated.

  3. 2

    I wanted to sign up but I'm getting the following error:

    could not execute statement; nested exception is org.hibernate.exception.GenericJDBCException: could not execute statement

    1. 1

      Sorry, I think you must have hit the app just as I was updating it. Can you try it again, and if you still have a problem, send me an e-mail at dries[AT]quodlibet.be ?

  4. 2

    Great idea, loved the concept. I don't usually follow this process with articles but I will definitely take a look at your product and who knows? Maybe I end up changing my workflow.

    1. 1

      Thank you, appreciate your feedback. Let me know if you have any questions.

  5. 2

    this is really great idea, I really appreciate it!

    1. 1

      Thank you, I am happy to hear that.

  6. 2

    @quodlibet, your story was beautiful and I am sorry that you didn't manage to "discover" the burn-out early on. In our own experience, breaks are mostly needed to keep that daily efficiency, however, each and every day we seem to add hours in the "need to sleep it off' jar.

    Regarding your idea - I think the word I could identify with is procrastination; and what's more concerning, this applies to things that are of interest and I will never get to it! I am unable to see the gifs, for some reason. Can you share them on an external source so I can share my complete thoughts over it?

    Keep it up!

    1. 2

      As a follow-up to my post - it seems that AT&T from the US is blocking your address. I've now whitelisted that manually. What I would see pretty cool is a button called "Add to my schedule". Keep it up!

    2. 1

      Thanks you, your comment means a lot to me.

      I added links to the post to the animated gifs. Are you still having trouble getting to them? How/why do you think the domain was blocked? Does AT&T commonly block new domains or non-standard TLD's like .email?

  7. 2

    Wow! What an amazing way to turn a bad experience into something positive.

    1. 1

      Thank You. I think it really is a start of a new positive chapter.

  8. 2

    This looks awesome! Technical question, if you don’t mind sharing. How do you dynamically create inboxes for whatever email address the user types in? For example, you typed [email protected] — how do you create an inbox for that on the fly?

    1. 1

      Thank you, your feedback means a lot to me.

      Great question about the email address capturing. I immediately felt hesitant to answer, I wouldn't want to give away the secret sauce :)
      But that's just crazy talk.

      I was actually quite surprised myself, I had looked into this before, wondering if aws ses supported wildcards, and I remember it didn't at the time. But when I looked at it again now, it actually does support it. Check out the AWS SES receipt rules documentation .

      The only thing that doesn't work for now, is actually setting up normal e-mail adresses :) I'll have to setup a subdomain for that.

      1. 2

        Super interesting!! Totally understand the hesitancy :) Rest assured, I was asking because I was working on a project in a totally different space that could have leveraged that kind of functionality. Thanks for sharing and spreading the knowledge — best of luck on this project!!

  9. 2

    Looks great idea to me. All the best mate.

    1. 2

      Thanks. What did you think about how I explained it and the explanation videos? Does it make sense?

  10. 1

    Awesome story! But the link doesn't work?

  11. 1

    It's good, but I see one problem with this tool that you always need to enter and remember different email addresses, so if you find a solution to that, it will be much useful.

    1. 2

      Most e-mail clients have a pretty good autocomplete on email addresses, I usually never type more than a few characters for any e-mail address. But it's a good point, I'll think about it.

Trending on Indie Hackers
Share your product or landing page, and I'll give you product design advice 89 comments How do I transition from a wantrepreneur to an entrepreneur? 19 comments What did you work on this weekend? (Jan 15-16) 19 comments Copywriting Examples — The world's best copy. In one place. 13 comments Working towards an MVP 9 comments Building a microsaas in public 8 comments